Bandipur –Mesmerizing beautiful forests
Situated amongst the picturesque surroundings of western Ghats Mountains in the Mysore -Ooty highway in Karnataka it is one of the most popular reserves of the country. It covers an area of about 874.2sq km. Together with the Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, Wayanad in Kerala and Nagarhole national park in North it creates India’s biggest biosphere reserve known as ‘Nilgiri Bio Reserve’ It was established in 1974 under Project Tiger and was once a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of the Mysore kingdom. The sanctuary is counted among one of the best habitats for the Asian elephants.
The natural rivers of Kabini, Moyar and Nagur flowing through add to the beauty of the reserve. Apart from elephants tigers are a major attraction. One can also look forward to fishing, bird watching, boating and trekking.
Bandipur consists of evergreen forests, scrubs, deciduous forests. It supports a wide range of timber trees including Teak, rosewood, sandalwood, Indian kino tree, giant clumping bamboo. There are also several flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs like Indian gooseberry, crape-myrtle, kadam tree, golden shower tree.
Bandipur is loaded with a large number of elephants and has a sizable number of Tigers. Leopard, Wild Boar, Barking Deer, Sambhar, Chital, Patridges, Four horned antelope are also spotted here. Birds like Jungle fowl and Green pigeon are also common here. Apart from these it is also a home to a large variety of reptiles.
Himavad Gopalswamy Betta
it is the highest peak in Bandipur National park. The hill is about 41km from the park. The Betta hills is a popular trekking spot and atop the hill is the temple of Lord Krishna built 7 centuries ago. The hills are covered with grass and are known as Shola forests.
Excursions in Bandipur
Called the Queen of hill stations, Ooty is the most favorite among the Southern part; it is 97km a 2 hr drive from the park. It is famous for the numerous tea estates.
When to visit
Bandipur has a moderate climate throughout the year but the best time to visit is from October to May. Winters November to February is the pleasant season with cool climate.
How to Reach
nearest airport is the Bangalore International Airport 215km away.
nearest rail head is Mysore which is 80km away which is well connected to all the major cities of the country.
state owned buses run by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation can be availed by tourists. As it is located on National highway, taxis and cabs are available at regular intervals.